What’s most important to you right now? 

Being healthy. Staying calm, not freaking out, and keeping going with my life.

What was most important to you before you had to social distance? 

Work, going where my life was taking me to–the next level. 

What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over? 

I really want to travel! 

What are you doing to pass the time? 

Work, reading the news, cleaning, watching what’s going on outside in other countries ,talking with people from different countries–I have friends in Europe, friends back home in New Zealand, and friends in China. I’m gathering all different information. In this situation it’s tough to be Asian. What can we do to protect ourselves and give each other correct information about what’s going on in China. I think about that a lot.

What makes you happy right now?

Watching a lot of animal YouTubes, and posts about dogs and cats. I’ve been thinking about fostering a dog or cat. Gathering different information and educating people about this virus and how we can collaborate with each other. Helping people not feel so fearful. As a Chinese person living here, I feel it’s my responsibility to give people the correct information.

What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today? 

I was really different because I had information about China, wearing masks etc..but here [in the US], I was in a relaxed environment. I was getting two different types of information. I was frustrated because I knew the situation back in China, but I was in a completely different environment. I was really confused. I was afraid to wear a mask because I didn’t want to be attacked by people here. 

This is about human beings. It’s not just about races–it’s more complicated than that. I was born in Wuhan. I moved when I was really young. The whole world is discriminating against China, and China is discriminating against Wuhan. It’s a very complicated situation. I want to educate people about this prejudice. There’s a lack of information–no bridge of communication–so they discriminate and they’re scared. They say stupid things. I really think my responsibility is to tell people what the truth out there is. The communist party doesn’t represent everyone just like Donald Trump doesn’t represent the United States. It’s the same logic. 

At the beginning, I was really panicked, down, and emotional, but you get used to it and learn how to prioritize your life. I think my life is getting better. On the other hand, I’ve thought a lot about people making disgusting comments about Chinese people, and physically attacking the Asian community. Since what’s happened globally, you can really see people’s discrimination and abuse. I’ve thought a lot about that as well. That’s had a huge impact on my personal life. People are simple minded. They’ve never been to Asia, they know nothing about Chinese culture or Chinese people. People are ignorant about the situation. It’s not fair to attack China. A lot of countries are not doing well, but because they have a lot of anger and pressure on the them, they start saying “oh, if you want some country to blame, blame China”. Personally, I feel hopeless in this kind of situation. It’s very embarrassing. The only thing I can do is educate. I feel so sorry for China. I feel stuck in between all these things. The reality is that the virus started in China, but that shouldn’t allow people to make disgusting comments. 


Diya L-Brooklyn

DAY 52